Environmental beach management for protection of bathers and species in Slovenia

The main beach in Portoroz, a small modern tourist resort close to the Adriatic pearl, the city of Piran, is a sandy beach with the Blue flag. And its sea bottom host very interesting species “Pinna nobilis”, common name the noble pen shell or fan mussel, a large marine bivalve mollusk in the family Pinnidae, the pen shells. It reaches up to 120 cm (4 ft) of shell length. There are so many that they become attraction but sometimes also potential danger for beach users. On the other hand, Pinna nobilis has become threatened with extinction, due in part to fishing, incidental killing by trawling and anchoring, and the decline in seagrass fields.

The Blue Flag beach management team from the public company Okolje Piran did find a solution together with National Institute for conservancy of the Nature, first year as a pilot, later on as a regular annual activity, transplanting the shell from beach user’s area to outside perimeter of the beach bathing area. The activity is performed by the beach management team in collaboration with the local scuba divers club and surveyed by National Institute for conservancy of the Nature.

The first year 750 rare scallops “Pinna Nobilis” were moved from the beach bathing area (depth of 2 m) to more calm and deeper (4-6 m) part outside the bathing water area, approximately 200 meters away. National Institute for conservancy of the Nature is surveying the activity to guarantee that the tasks performed is fulfilling the goals of this activity.  The results from previous years shows that the shell is normally adapting to the new home area.